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October Surgery Buddies

alimaliaalimali Posts: 5
edited 10/04/2014 - 11:02 AM in Surgery Buddies
Hi, I've just joined this site today but I have been reading posts for the past week after I found out I needed a lumbar fusion. I am having an ALIF on Monday, 10/13 and will return to the Or on Wednesday, 10/15 to have a posterior screw inserted. Has anyone had this two-step procedure and if so how did it work out for you? Thank you.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thanks, Liz. I think I've already watched every video for both anterior and posterior lumbar fusions. I've also been following most of the posts but I haven't read anything that pertains to the two-step approach that I am having. I'm also interested in hearing from others having October surgery and also from others who are on their way to recovery. I'm a very optimistic person and I am determined that my surgery will be successful if I can consistently follow my post-op restrictions. Not an easy thing for an active person to do;-)
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  • So I've been on this site for a couple of years now and have had 2 back surgeries so far, a L2-4 fusion and an L4-5 foraminotomy that was unsuccessful and left me no better than I was before. Now I'm facing the more uncommon SI fusion on October 15. They are going in through my hip on the right side and only fusing the right side. Basically they're fusing my back to my hip. It's weird but I had a diagnostic injection done there to see if my back pain was really coming from the sacroiliac joint than from the L4-5 and the injection worked like magic! I literally went from hardly being able to move, to being almost completely pain free, at least for about 10 days until it started to wear off. Now its worn off completely and I'm back where I was before. The doctor said that means that I should have a very positive result from an SI fusion. I'm desperate. I think if you told me that putting a unicorn on my head would help, I'd try that. My L2-4 was very successful and I'm fused now and its doing so much better. I'm glad I did it and I hope and pray that this fusion helps as much. It's going to be a minimally invasive approach through a couple of small incisions on my hip and they are telling me the recovery is similar to my other fusion but not quite as long (6-8 weeks of no bending, lifting or twisting as opposed to 12) and they say most people stay in the hospital for only a night or two. For me this means I'll be in a week. I know myself and my history with many surgeries and I'm never ready to go home when most people are. I'm most scared this time for two reasons. One- the pain. I'm on MS-Contin and morphine at decent dosages as well as Robaxin and Neurontin. I have a low pain tolerance and a high medication tolerance. That's a bad combination and I know that my pain will be difficult to control. Two- I don't have much help this time. Last time my teenage kids were home all day to help me because surgery was in June. This time they are in school and then have sports every night and my husband will have to work as he only has a couple of days he can take off. My mom is coming down to help for the first 2-3 days after I get home from the hospital but after that I'm on my own most of the day. I do have the tools needed to make this doable but its still going to suck.I'm scared and nervous just like last time. All I can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. And I really pray this is my last spinal surgery for many, many years. I'm exhausted. 3 spine surgeries in only 1 1/2 years is hard. Alimali sounds like you and I care going to be in the hospital at the same time. I have not heard about the type of surgery you're having, but I'm sure they have a good reason to do it that way. What levels are you having fused? My fusion was only from a posterior approach. I have a large incision (8") down my back and had a drain for a few days when I woke up. I do have 6 screws and 3 rods, but they were all placed at one time. I feel for you as I know the fear you have. Hopefully we can heal together and support one another. Hopefully others will join as well. When I had my other surgeries there were lots of people in the surgery buddies area. I wonder if its because it was moved to its own area. Good luck
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
  • I'm pleased to be your surgery buddy. I, too, am a bit overwhelmed about the extent of the surgery and how many posts I read about unrelieved pain. But I'm buying into the theory that most surgeries are very successful but aren't being posted because they have moved on with their lives. You have already benefitted from surgery. Keep the positivity of that experience and let it guide you through the next surgery. I believe that if you expect a bad outcome and uncontrolled pain you will fulfill your expectation. Think positive thoughts and believe in your ability to endure as you've already demonstrated with your previous surgery. Stay in control of your pain: use a lot of ice, relaxation, distraction, and move even when it hurts. If you are a faith filled person pray for courage. I am telling myself that I can endure anything when I know there will eventually be an end and I will return to my normal active lifestyle. We can both do this if we stay strong in spirit. I wish you much success.
  • Hello. My name is Jaime and I am a female 49 years old. I am scheduled for a lamnioplasty on the 20th of October. I am still a little hazey about the whole surgery. I got for my final next week. I was involved in a serious automobile accident in May and have herniated discs that are putting sever pressure on the spinal cord from S2-S8. I opted for a lamnioplasty because my surgeon that in the end, this would suit my life style better. I am beyond scared about the pain after. I was told I can't drive for six weeks and am really not happy about that. I live alone for the most part and hate to burden people. My boyfriend says he will be there for me but still. If anyone has some suggestions to make life easier, I'm all ears. I've already bought the shower seat, the recliner, and the grabber. I bought lots of comfy jammies but wonder when I will feel good enough to go out of the house. I know this surgery takes time and I'm ready to put in whatever is necessary to feel better again. There hasn't been a day that I have had that I didn't have pain since the accident. To all of you reading this, welcome to October and the beginning of a new life.
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  • Surgery is October 20th. C3-C8 herniated and bulging into my spinal cord. I'm having a cervical lamnioplasty. Anyone having the same procedure?
  • I just joined today, but I will be having fusion on l5-s1 on Oct. 27th. I had a discectomy done here about 10 years ago,and now have quite a few problems in the area. I am incredibly nervous, as I have twin 1 year olds at home and it will be very difficult to manage them during my healing!
  • NECKNNECK Posts: 34
    edited 10/11/2014 - 4:49 PM
    Hey, I had my C2-C5 Posterior Laminectomy w/Fusion and Instrumentation done on Oct. 4th.

    I'm just 1 week post today and I'm feeling great! I'm still a little sore and run out of energy fairly quick
    but I'm able to walk a mile without any problem aside from a sweaty Aspen collar! LOL!

    Good luck to all! Stay positive!
    CSM = C2-C5 Posterior Laminectomy w/Fusion and Instrumentation
    Surgery Complete 10/4/14
  • I will be having my surgery on the 24. The countdown for me has officially started. I will be having a hardware removal and an extension to my first fusion.
  • First off, I wish you well with your procedure tomorrow! Hope all goes smooth with the surgery and your out of the hospital soon after. Although I didn't have the 2 step process, I am able to share my recovery experience thus far.
    I'll begin with the hospital stay , 3 days. Uncomfortable somewhat due mostly to the drain that was inserted ,posterior, after surgery. As for the pain, I personally felt it to be about a 8. on a 1-10 however, the pain pump worked great to remedy this.
    The day after surgery , the PT got me up for a walk with a walker. It really wasn't that bad other than I was somewhat light headed as a result of laying in bed for over 18 hours. The following days in the hospital I spent walking all over the floor I was on minus the walker.
    As for being at home , week 1-4, were the most difficult. This because I needed help preparing meals and getting shoes on. Fortunately I did have some help at least for the first 2 weeks. During this time I spent my time laying around and walking. A LOT of walking! According to my Dr. , the best way to rehabilitate. Also , I was told not to drive or even be in a car for 6 weeks. This because it limited my chance of being in an accident and or my twisting and bending restrictions. I did follow this to the letter. One note, I really didn't notice any changes until week 5 regarding a sign of recovery?
    However , starting then and every week thereafter, my condition has improved greatly.
    I'm now at week 10 , back at the gym , light treadmill and elliptical and back to work this Tuesday.
    That said , I still have a ways to go before the surgery is considered a success but I feel I'm on my way. Patience plays a HUGE part for me now as I fell good but still have to observe some restrictions. It appears to be a journey!!
    Again wishing you all the best tomorrow!
    Hope this helps!
    Bilateral L5 spondylolysis L5 with grade I anterolisthesis L5-S1.
    Stable multilevel degenerative spondylosis contributing to mild canal
    narrowing L2-3 and L3-4.
    360 ALIF & PLIF L-4 - S-1 on 8/11/14
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